Formula Polestar offers a refreshing look at the future of zero-emission race cars

The electrification wave is slowly taking over the Formula-1 ranks, with Formula-E race car teams constantly developing technology for sustainable fun without sacrificing the thrill of speed.

Even Formula-1 is working day and night to become “Net Zero Carbon” by the end of 2030. The development of 100% sustainable fuel planned for the 2026 season, if all goes as planned, is a good example. Currently, F1’s new generation cars run on E10 fuel, a mixture of 90% fuel and 10% renewable ethanol that is completely sustainable.

Designer: Karfidov Lab

The racing landscape will change radically before the decade ends, and so will the dynamics of Formula-1 or Formula-E cars; regardless of the weight of the pendulum. One thing is for sure, the best race car generation in 2030 will be powered either by pure electric power, a hybrid of electricity and sustainable fuel, or better yet, entirely on sustainable fuel. This Formula Polestar race car is a vision of what to accelerate at extreme speeds on challenging tracks.

This is a shortlisted project for the Polestar Design Competition 2022, which has already seen a large number of impressive submissions. Dubbed the Formula Polestar, this race car appears to be a worthy descendant of the current generation of Formula-1 and Formula-E racers. The evolutionary instinct takes over the front wing, which is embedded behind the monocoque shell protecting the rider. The rear wing has been completely eliminated in favor of a sleeker design.

I’m not sure how this Polestar will generate the downforce needed to hold onto the race surface at speeds in excess of 300 km/h. As soon as I look closely, the aerodynamic craft impresses me as the wing is placed parallel to the underside of the rear wheels. This points to advanced fuel cell technology or a compact battery cell in the underbody, allowing more room to fit in the wing. No exhaust to worry about, lots of room to create airflow for superior traction and control. As the project brief puts it rightly, the car puts performance at the center with its “active aerodynamics and multifunctional suspension”.

The halo section opens like the doors of a seagull-winded supercar to give the driver access to the race seat. Once the racer’s belt is fastened, the section snaps back into place providing vital head protection, which is most important in any racing sport. Compared to current generation F1 or Formula E cockpits, this cockpit has a digital display to make telemetry visible in amber.

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